Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stumbling towards purity of mind, body, and soul...

...whatever that really means.

Mind, body, and soul are so intertwined that it is impossible to completely untangle their tendrils. In fact even just months ago I would have argued against even trying to treat these three as separate. But in this phase of grief my physical body and emotions, at least, need different things.

Looking back over the last 10 months, considering how the sadness moved through my being, I think the grief actually started in my body. The sudden uterine emptying, days spent medicated in the hospital, bleeding bleeding bleeding, then the horror of lactation - all happening when my body was busy and focused on growing a baby. Next was the strike to my soul - holding my tiny son, becoming focused on THAT being, wanting THAT baby. A much planned for, wanted, and loved human; a baby made from love ... with that much preparation and care how could this baby die? An intense, unreasonable love for him began as soon as I saw him; with this innate and immediate emotional and visceral response how is a dead baby even possible?

Weeks later as the shock wore off depression set in. Every single moment and every single action since then has been hampered by this mind which is so obscured by depression.

Anyway, now my mind gets psychotherapy and my body gets massage therapy, and I'm trying to listen to what my body wants at any given time. This morning my body wanted to listen to the new I:Scintilla album loudly during my drive to the shuttle. Physical senses indulged - loud music, cool breeze through the window, vibration from the engine (ok, also the smells of exhaust which is not nice but goes with the territory).

Care for the soul is harder for me to figure out than care for mind and body. I haven't been disciplined enough to meditate regularly. And on that note here is something to think about from Pema Chodron's mini book "Awakening Loving-Kindness":

"When people start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline they often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It's a bit like saying "If I jog, I'll be a much better person." "If I could only get a nicer house, I'd be a better person." "If I could meditate and calm down, I'd be a better person."

... But loving-kindness - maitri - toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already."

Pema Chodren presents an interesting way to look at meditation practice. I have felt that I should improve through meditation practice but improvement seems such a daunting task right now that I don't even bother with practice because I simply cannot live up to the expectations of improvement I had.

Enough rambling for tonight.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Love this post. I'm with ya.